A Blessed Fellowship
1. With Jesus
2. With each other
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in the Garden of Eden? That must have been spectacular. No weeds. No sweat. No back pain or arthritis. No sadness. No stress. No calendars or appointments. No worms in your apples. No bills. No high priced gasoline. Only peace, perfection, and paradise.
But there’s one other aspect of the Garden of Eden that would have been fantastic. Perfect harmony and communion with God. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. That means that they were perfect, righteous, and holy like God. What would it have been like to live in perfect peace with God? No fear of God because you had nothing to hide because you hadn’t done anything wrong. You knew his word and his will and you always kept them. If God showed himself and appeared, you wouldn’t run away because it was normal and perhaps even expected. You were in perfect harmony and fellowship and communion with God. What was there to be afraid of?
That’s hard for us to imagine, impossible to imagine even, because all we know is the exact opposite. All we know is fear of God and disharmony and disunity that come from shame and guilt. Read the rest of this entry
3rd Sunday in Lent
(by) 1. Learning from the past
2. Looking to the Lord
3. Leaning on the Lord
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Business is booming. Commerce is so good that wealth and extravagance are normal. Money is taken for granted and thoroughly wasted as people revel in every kind of luxury. Being such a hot spot for both tourism and business travel also means that visitors “take advantage” of their time in the city. “What happens there, stays there,” one might say. The reputation for indulgence slowly grew to the point where gross sexual sins have become the norm. A sailor is temporarily ashore and lives it up with the ladies. A man has relations with his own mother. No big deal. “If it feels good, do it,” they say.
Meanwhile the church there is barely surviving. The wise scholars and philosophers of this influential city cause doubt and skepticism when it comes to faith. Influential persons with strong opinions are causing factions in the church. Church members are indulging in the sins of the city around. The religious diversity of the city is swaying other members into false teaching and practice. Worship services are a disorderly mess. It would seem as though this heathen city of pagan revelry and sensual satisfaction will soon swallow up and destroy the church.
Is this Las Vegas? Los Angeles? San Francisco? New York? Miami? No. Try ancient Corinth, the leading city of Greece around 50-51 B.C. While any of those descriptions might fit any modern city today, they are taken right from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. What do you say to such people? What do you say to Christians surrounded by sin, struggling with sin, and fighting to sustain and strengthen the church? Whether it’s Corinth 2000 years ago or America today, Paul would say the same thing:
Many times when there was a very important point to get across, the apostle Paul would you use a certain phrase that we see in the first verse today: “I do not want you to be ignorant.” He always wanted Christians to be well-informed, in-the-know, and properly understanding certain truths. In this case, the Corinthians were to all be aware of their spiritual forefathers, the Israelites. Here’s what Paul says, “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.” All the Israelites followed the Lord as he was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, leading them through the middle of the Red Sea on dry ground. Read the rest of this entry